If you don't have time to make the olive salad from scratch, you can purchase a jar of Giardiniera, which is pickled vegetables (cauliflower, carrots and celery), along with some black and green pitted olives. Drain the giardiniera and add everything to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Or you can use my recipe below...incredibly fresh and delicious!
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 red bell pepper
3/4 cup green olives, pitted, chopped
3/4 cup black olives, pitted (I used Kalamata), chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat broiler to 475 degrees and char bell pepper. Let cool, remove skin, seeds and finely chop.
- Steam cauliflower and carrots until tender, let cool and chop.
- Pit and chop olives and chop celery.
- Combine all ingredients together and let marinate for about 24 hours.
- Check for seasonings and add more salt, pepper, red wine vinegar or olive oil, if needed.
- Bring to room temperature before using.
4 French rolls
1 large globe eggplant, cut into 1/8"-1/4" thick slices
2 red bell peppers, roasted, skins removed and seeded
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/8"-1/4" thick slices
2 large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed and sliced into 1/4" slices after grilling
2 cups baby spinach
4 tbsp Vegenaise
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper
- I grilled my vegetables, but you can roast them in the oven or saute. Grilling or roasting uses a lot less olive oil, especially for the eggplant, which seems to soak up a lot of oil otherwise. Regardless, use whatever method is easier for you.
- I also grilled my bread before adding all the other ingredients. It was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
- On the bottom half of the grilled bread, layer eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and spinach.
- On the top half, add a large serving of the olive salad and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Enjoy!